They told him “you are wounding the body of Christ” by failing to care for marginalized.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions was heckled by religious leaders for his approach to the migrant crisis at a religious freedom event Monday morning.
While Sessions spoke about religious freedom at the Boston Lawyers chapter of the conservative Federalist Society, two
as-yet-unidentified religious leaders interrupted his speech, according to video footage from ABC News. The first man, wearing a clerical collar, quoted lines attributed to Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew: “I was hungry and you did not feed me. I was a stranger and you did not welcome me. I was naked and you did not clothe me.” The verses are frequently read as Jesus’s exhortation to care for the poor, sick, and marginalized.
identified himself as a fellow United Methodist — the Christian denomination to which Sessions belongs — telling Sessions, “Brother Jeff, as a fellow United Methodist, I call upon you to repent, to care for those in need, to remember that when you do not care for others you are wounding the body of Christ.”
the man did not explicitly state what he was criticizing Sessions for, the attorney general has frequently come under fire from some religious groups for his hardline stance on immigration, including his role in helping enact the Trump administration’s migrant family separation policy. Sessions is currently advocating for the narrowing of grounds for applying for asylum in the United States, even as a 4,000-strong caravan of migrants from Honduras is currently making its way to the United States-Mexico border.
Religious leaders interrupt Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ speech: “Brother Jeff, as a fellow United Methodist I call upon you to repent, to care for those in need.”
Sessions: “Well, thank you for those remarks and attack but I would just tell you we do our best everyday” pic.twitter.com/NUq5HSZZMg
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) October 29, 2018
who identified himself only as a Baptist pastor, rose to give a second speech, but was drowned out by boos and cries of “go home” from the audience. As he was escorted out, the Baptist pastor accused his audience of being “hypocrites” for advocating for religious liberty politically, only to deny him the opportunity to express his religious faith by quoting the gospel at the event.
Sessions appeared to laugh off the interruption, telling his audience, “I don’t believe there’s anything in the
Scripture…[or my] theology that says a secular nationstate cannot have lawful laws to control immigration … not immoral, not indecent and not unkind to state what your laws are and then set about to enforce them.” His listeners responded with raucous applause.
This is not the first time Jeff Sessions has come under fire from religious leaders for his role in the migrant crisis. In June during the migrant family separation crisis, 600 clergy and members of the United Methodist Church brought formal church charges against Sessions, who is himself a Methodist, over his role in the crisis.
Sessions was charged with racism, child abuse, immoral behavior, and the dissemination of heretical Biblical teaching — a reference to his use of the Bible verse Romans 13 to justify Christians’ submission to government policy on the issue of migration. The charges were dropped two months later, with the
church’s District Superintendent in charge of Sessions’ church, Dr. Barbara Bishop, arguing in a statement that “a political action is not personal conduct when the political officer is carrying out official policy.”
The protests of the two
apparent clergymen at the event exemplify the increasingly visible role that the religious left, including both mainline Protestants and some evangelicals, are playing under the Trump administration.
From presiding Episcopal bishop Michael Curry’s fiery liberation theology-tinged sermon last spring at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Royal Wedding to retired Episcopalian bishop Gene Robinson’s openly political advocacy for LGBTQ rights at last week’s interring of Matthew Shepard, more and more religious leaders are using their platform to spread a message of political resistance.
Or, in the case of these two men, simply sharing the gospel.
2 pastors just heckled Jeff Sessions at an event on religious liberty
By Tara Isabella Burton
October 29, 2018 at 11:50AM
via Vox – All https://www.vox.com/2018/10/29/18039194/jeff-sessions-religious-freedom-heckled-event-pastor-methodist